According to CNet Microsoft is selling copies of Office 2008 for Mac at a clip three times higher than the former 2004 version. "The company wouldn't disclose sales numbers, but said the sales are the highest in the 19-year history of the unit. That continues a trend that has been going on for some time."
Microsoft also released Office '08 for Mac Service Pack 1 today which contains over 1,000 fixes and improvements, including the return of custom error bars and axis tick manipulation in Excel charts. The full release notes are available. You can download the 180MB update directly from Mactopia or simply launch your favorite Office app and select Help/Check for Updates.
Microsoft's MacBU sent out a press release at 12:01am PST today announcing that Visual Basic will be making its triumphant return to the Mac:
VBA Returns to Future Versions of Office for Mac
The Mac BU also announced it is bringing VBA-language support back to the next version of Office for Mac. Sharing information with customers as early as possible continues to be a priority for the Mac BU to allow customers to plan for their software needs. Although the Mac BU increased support in Office 2008 with alternate scripting tools such as Automator and AppleScript — and also worked with MacTech Magazine to create a reference guide, available at http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide — the team recognizes that VBA-language support is important to a select group of customers who rely on sharing macros across platforms. The Mac BU is always working to meet customers’ needs and already is hard at work on the next version of Office for Mac.
Erik Schwiebert a Software Design Lead at Microsoft Corporation in the Macintosh Business Unit who's been at Microsoft since September 1996 (and has been in the MacBU since the beginning) posted the skinny on the return of Visual Basic to the next version of Office for the Macintosh on his blog:
Yep, you read that right. VB is (well, will be) back, baby! When we came to the realization in 2006 that there was no way for us to keep VB in the product and still ship Office 2008 on any semblance of the schedule we wanted, we announced its removal, but kept looking at how to bring it back into the suite even before we shipped. Many of the technical challenges I wrote about then still remain, but for a while now I and several others have been working with a group of people who know a heck of a lot about the internals of VB, and once we determined that we could achieve the revival VB in the new schedule for the next version of Mac Office, we locked it into place on the feature list